On Monday, R. Kelly’s defense began presenting its witnesses.
Two of the three witnesses came out on behalf of the singer, who is currently on trial on racketeering and other charges related to charges he sexually assaulted underage girls.
The first witness to appear was an aspiring musician named Dhanai Ramnanan, also known as Da-Ni. Ramnanan met Kelly in the mid-2000s, after which he worked with the singer on and off for 15 years. The musician described the 54-year-old as “a mentor to me and a good friend” and described his behavior towards women as “gentilman”.
The prosecution questioned the witness about his relationship with Kelly and, when asked to provide details of some of the allegations, he had difficulty remembering the details. Ramnanan alleged he was part of the singer’s inner circle, but was not previously named in files along with dozens of other close associates.
The second witness was Larry Hood, a former classmate and singer’s security guard who worked several concerts for him in the early 1990s and 2000s. Hood claimed he had never seen the singer behave in such a manner. inappropriately with underage girls, claiming that “his job as a police officer would have compelled him to act if he had seen anything abusive happening,” according to Rolling Stone.
Hood is a former Chicago police officer who was fired after being convicted of forgery. He was asked about his knowledge of Kelly’s relationship with late singer Aaliyah, whom he allegedly married as a minor in 1994.
As for the third witness, the defense claimed that it was having problems financing the person’s trip to New York and that the witness list would be finalized the next day. Judge Ann Donnelly, who is presiding over the case, appeared confused by the uncertainty, saying, “Haven’t we settled this already?
The prosecution closed its case earlier today. Their case consisted of 40 witnesses, including 11 alleged victims of abuse.
The trial, which began on August 19, continues on Tuesday.